Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bittersweet Goodbye to Baby B & Oceans of Faith

Faith in the unseen is such a tricky thing sometimes. It's like a muscle that gets stronger as you work it, but some days it's just really hard to get in a workout. I'm compelled to laze off and fall into unhealthy (mind) habits...that's when pesky doubts and worries creep in.

I've been exercising my faith muscle until it's fatigued, and I'd like to think it's getting stronger.
However, it was a looong two weeks between our first u/s and the one we had today. Some days I'm completely content with an unexplainable peace that just comforts me. Other nights I lie awake for hours on end, with a hamster wheel of "what-ifs" on repeat. Then, it's back on my knees the next morning to pray it all away.

I've been listening to a lot of Christian music for some time now and have been finding solace in the lyrics of so many great songs. There is one I'm totally obsessed with called "Oceans" by Hillsong United. Even if you aren't into the CCM genre of music, give it whirl. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SONG, and this live version is just extra special imho. If this doesn't give you a goosebump by the end, um I don't know what to say...

She has the voice of an angel, and the lyrics are so on point to what so many of us are going through. Isn't this what we're all trying to do... put our faith in something we can't really see as human beings and trust that it will all work out in the end?

If you listened and didn't catch it, this song is about a famous story from the Bible in Matthew 14, where Peter walks on water, despite his own fears...

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I feel like this is what God keeps telling me over and over and over again. He's got this! Sorry God, I know in my heart you've got my back, but I'm still working on remaining faithful 24/7. It's not always easy, especially with the history of repeated failures thing. However, I really do believe that our past experiences do not dictate our future, and that at some point, if we throw enough darts and keep the faith, one will eventually stick in the right spot.

Speaking of sticking in the right spot, we have been a little concerned from the beginning about 1/2 of this pregnancy: Baby B. Baby B had been measuring behind from the get go, and at last u/s had a marked difference in size and heartbeat. Hubby and I were excited at the prospect of becoming parents of not one, but two babies. Nonetheless, we had realistic expectations that Baby B might not make it, thanks to our gentle yet up-front care providers, and that this might become a case of vanishing twin. This is indeed what happened, as today we found out that Baby B did not make it. Barely a fetal pole and a sac that did not grow past 6 wks was all that was visible for #2.

Bittersweet is the best word I can use to describe my feelings about losing Baby B.
Bitter, because anytime life is lost it's saddening. Vanishing twin occurs in about 1 out of 8 multiple pregnancies, and when one baby "goes away" it typically does not have any bearing whatsoever on the health and growth of the other baby inside the long as it happens early on in the pregnancy. Baby B will join 3 other babies of ours in heaven that decided to implant and create pregnancy, but ultimately not stick around.

Yet, today was also sweet. We are thankful that if this was going to happen, it happened early, so as not to complicate things later on or keep us wondering even more about the outcome.  We don't feel like God snatched a baby from us or anything; We feel everything is working out for our very best interest possible. We saw how well Baby A was doing, with a super strong heartbeat @180 bpm and measuring within 1 day of EDD. He/she looked kind of like a wiggly gummy bear.

Instead of focusing on the loss, we are focusing on all that is going right. We are also reassured at the fact we will now have less risks overall throughout this pregnancy, since it's a singleton and not twins. My body has had a hard enough time just holding onto one pregnancy, so the fact that we are not faced with added complications from twins, is yet another reason to just be grateful for the one healthy baby we do have.

Want to know something kinda crazy?! I have actually been journaling to "Baby A" for exactly two years now.
At the time I started writing to our future child, I began addressing him/her as Baby A because our last name starts with A. Check out a snippet of my first entry from two years ago in January 2012...

I have been writing to Baby A all along to this day, but little did I know how truly significant and personal these journal entries would end up being. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I just think it's awfully ironic I've been writing to "Baby A" for 2 years and I never ever expected there would even be such a thing as a Baby A, as named by the doctors. Had I really been writing to the child hand picked and chosen for us all along? Pretty interesting is all I'm saying. I have to laugh too...It seems I was equally as impatient for a baby two years ago, having only TTC for 6 months at that point in time.

So many times I would take days or weeks off from writing to Baby A, but would always come back and talk to him/her. I really believe that someone is listening when I read these entries out loud, whether it's God, angels fighting on my behalf, or our future babies. This baby will know how much he/she was wanted and loved before even being conceived. While it may have taken longer than I'd liked, it seems Baby A is now really and truly on the way.  FINALLY. It goes without saying that we're beyond grateful.

We will continue to be hopeful for the best possible outcome each step of the way and as the song says,  keep our eyes above the waves. Tomorrow makes 9 weeks. As we inch closer towards the elusive 12 week safety zone, I give thanks every single day that passes, bringing us one step closer to being a family.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hoover Heaven

Here's a fun fact you may not know about me. I have scrubbed the toilets of some of the richest and well-known people in our country; People like Tiger Woods, Payne Stewart, Chris Rock and oodles of other pro sports figures and entertainers. Yep, it's truly something to be proud of!

OK not really, but I am proud of the fact that I supported myself throughout college by working my ass off doing construction cleaning in the 100+ degree FL heat.
I actually did it for 6+ years total. Some people may have stories of walking 5 miles to school in the snow, but mine will all be about scraping paint off windows on ladders 3 stories high in the blistering sun. And just for the record, said toilets being cleaned had not yet been "christened", since it was all newly built construction. Somehow, that made it more bearable.

The other good, or maybe bad thing, doing this type of work also did was turn me into a huge CLEAN FREAK!  Actually, it started with my mom, who also cleaned houses for a living while I was in elementary school, but it definitely progressed once I did it as a job every day. I have tried to shake the habit of being so darn anal, but I just can't help it people. I like shit to be clean!

To this day I'm always trying to find the best possible way of cleaning every single nook and cranny imaginable. Enter the Hoover Floor Mate Spin Scrub Hard Floor Cleaner & queue the angels singing!!!

Truly beautiful from every angle isn't it? I've known about this awesome device for quite a while but had never owned one myself. A mop with water and vinegar is the most cost effective way of cleaning tile safely, and it's actually what most pros use when cleaning homes. I was also admittedly sucked into the whole "steam mop" craze that the evil people at Shark vaccuums created with all of their infommercials showing the oh so powerful cleaning power of steam.

Besides the fact that EVERY SINGLE Shark vaccuum I've ever owned has lasted about 1.5-2 years tops before suddenly dying out of the blue right in the middle of cleaning (pisses me off every time!), I'm officially not sold on the whole steam mop thing. I've come to the conclusion it seems like it's cleaning because you see steam being emitted, but really there is just a whole lot of scooting dirt around and not a lot of picking crap up...outside of what's left on the flat mop pad. No way it's cleaning anything substantial out of your grout either. Lame. Well, Shark can kiss our business goodbye, because Hoover has taken over the market share in this house.

My new toy arrived in the mail last night and I was absolutely floored (pun intended) at what it produced...

Um, yeah. This is what was still on our floors AFTER mopping just 2 days ago apparently?! I had 3 dirty reservoirs filled with nastiness by the time I was done. And double bonus, which I've never gotten with mopping or steam mopping, was NO STREAKS whatsoever...

Seriously, Hoover should start paying me, because I'm going to be telling everyone I know about this gem of a device. We are also, by the way, HUGE fans of the Hoover Max Extract carpet cleaner too. Hubby just got done steam cleaning carpets in our whole house this past weekend, and if only I had taken pics of the nastiness from that one. We've been pretty much trapped indoors this whole winter, so it's all about breathing some clean air at this point. We may be hermits, but at least we are hermits with good air quality and clean feet. :)

Not much else going on, other than trying to take it easy. This is the most activity I've done in weeks and have pretty much been treating my body as though I'm still post-IVF transfer for the most part. As quoted by my MFM (maternal fetal medicine specialist), "Just keep doing what you're doing and don't change anything. If you're standing on your head every night, just keep standing on your head."

Alrighty then. Hubby has been a big help around the house, and also with helping to reassure me amidst the pesky worrying that inconveniently creeps in every time I over analyze a symptom or lack thereof. Every single morning I get on my hands and knees and just hand it all back over to God, but it really does take a conscious daily effort through reading scripture, praying out loud, journaling to our future baby(ies) and re-centering myself into a calm place where there's no room for worry or doubt. I'm reminding myself daily that you can't have faith and worry at the same time & that I am choosing faith!